Being a parent is hard. You are handed this tiny, screaming, squirming bundle in the hospital and told, “Congratulations! Here ya go! Love this being, feed this being, and keep this being alive. And don’t screw it up!” Being a parent is an enormous responsibility. Yeah, there are all sorts of parenting books and experts out there, but until you actually ARE a parent, you have no IDEA!

Being a parent is like living with your heart outside of your body. I read that somewhere once. No truer words have ever been written. I had never known that it was possible to love another person that much until I held my first baby in my arms the first time. I knew, in that moment, that I would love him for all eternity. I knew that I would give my life to protect that beautiful, innocent baby from any and all harm. I felt that same feeling each time one of our boys was born.

As our children grow, we teach them and try to guide them in the right direction. The older they get, the more they become an independent individual. They pull away from us and learn to make their own decisions. It starts at a very young age. The first time they hold their bottle/sippy cup by themselves, the first time they put their pants on without help, first time they learn to go potty in the toilet, their first day of school, first sleep over, first dance, staying home by themselves. You get the idea. It’s hard, as parents, to let go and step back. It’s scary to watch them become independent. You know that with independence comes many risks. Some of those risks have great rewards. On the other hand, some of those risks end with unfavorable outcomes. It’s all par for the course, I guess.

There is no greater reward than watching your child become the person they were meant to be. There is also a great amount of fear that comes along with it. Watching them fail, and watching them succeed. We do the best we can, and love them all the same.

Being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I would’t trade it for anything in the world.

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